For the first installment of The Brisket Sessions, Seth Meyers and LinkedIn’s executive editor took to the stage at Hill Country Brooklyn on October 23 to talk about Meyers’ long career in comedy, how long it took to befriend Lorne Michaels, and the gift of Donald Trump.
On understanding his own strengths:
I’m a very good listener and I love rules.
On being supported early on in his comedy career:
My dad thinks he’s really funny, and he thinks it’s genetic. When my brother and I got into comedy he was like “yeah this makes sense.”
On naming the worst Saturday Night Live hosts:
Everyone that you think stunk… we also know they stunk.
On speaking at the White House Correspondents Dinner
The best advice I ever got was, “they’re not watching you, they’re watching the President watch you, because that’s more interesting.
On the search for material for the White House Correspondents Dinner
Donald Trump just sort of fell into my lap. There’s no creating Donald Trump. Donald Trump is working on that 24/7. I think sometimes the world conspires to give you a good opportunity as a comedian.
On New York versus Los Angeles
In L.A., everyone has about a dozen projects that they love talking about but will, in all likelihood, never get done. In New York, you have to be doing stuff all the time, because otherwise you couldn’t pay rent. Everyone here in New York is just hustling a little harder.
On working with different kinds of talk show guests
Usually a guest comes in and they talk to the segment producer, who tells me what they might want to talk about. Then there are guests like Mickey Rourke and Kanye West, who don’t want to talk to anyone else, so I have no idea what’s going on happen, and they’ve made it very clear that they get offended easily. Those kinds of guests keep you sharp.
On creating the best staff
The strategy I took from SNL was to hire people you trust and continue to trust them. Sometimes we run things on the show that I’m not completely sure about, because ultimately, I want more voices on the show than just mine.
On growing up before Lorne Michaels’ eyes:
When I started at SNL, I didn’t even say hi to Lorne because I was so afraid of something happening. But I started writing more and more, and he started to take more notice. Writing is really the way to get in Lorne’s line of vision. I think around year six, we finally became friends.